More than a dozen balloons launched over Iredell County Friday morning to kick off the annual Carolina BalloonFest.
The 41st Carolina BalloonFest runs from Friday through Sunday at Statesville Regional Airport. More than 50 hot air balloons and four special shape balloons will be taking off from the airport grounds.
The balloons launch after dawn and near dusk when the thermal atmosphere is most stable. But tethered balloon rides of up to nearly 100 feet are available for purchase throughout the day.
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There are other activities throughout the day, from entertainers on two stages to a kids area to a venue for tasting North Carolina wines and craft beers.
Carolina BalloonFest tickets range from $5 to $15 for adults; children 12 and younger are admitted free. There is limited on-site parking. People are encouraged to use the satellite parking lot at Iredell County Fairgrounds in Troutman, with a free shuttle.